Benefits of Ocean Observations Catalog (BOOC)

A New Online Tool to Generating End User’s Specific Choices of Information, Products and Services from the Ocean Observing Systems

The Tenth GOOS Regional Alliance (GRAs) Forum (GRA-X Forum Part 1) was held online between 9-10 September 2021, to discuss and share important achievements in the last two years, among those a critical new emerging initiative on “Benefits of Ocean Observations Catalog” (BOOC). During the GRA-X Forum, Mr. Carl Gouldman and Dr. Ralph Rayner from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) delivered a special presentation on what is BOOC, and how to develop and contribute to BOOC. The current chair of GRA Council Dr. R. Venkatesan, the GOOS Director, Dr. Albert Fischer and GOOS Office Programme Specialist Dr. Denis Chang Seng welcomed this new initiative and encouraged GRAs to collectively and actively engage and contribute to the development of BOOC. GRAs learned how BOOC will benefit different users and communities as it intends to capture everything we know throughout the value chain (from observation, data management, modelling to services). Importantly, the Catalogue can be used to make a strong case to donors, partners and decision-makers.

Benefits of Ocean Observations Catalog (BOOC).

Under the IOC-UNESCO Global Ocean Observations Systems (GOOS) and its Regional Alliances Group (GRAs), the Benefit of the Ocean Observing Catalog (BOOC) is an emerging tool spearheaded by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S IOOS). BOOC aims to create an online, geographically referenced, searchable database of use cases focused on the end user’s specific choices that they make from information, products and services from the ocean observing systems. The idea is to incorporate use cases, tag them to the relevant application areas, and have a searchable database. It enables queries and the extraction of reports available to the broad community. GRAs and Member States can include their cases into this database and extract information based on geographic, application area search, or observing system type.

The BOOC online database seeks to build a better understanding of how ocean observations, measurements and forecasts can deliver societal and economic benefits for the support of scientific research, economy and governance. The BOOC development process is composed of a road map with 5 key tasks:

  1. Define function and structure;
  2. Develop prototype;
  3. Testing prototype: a range of use cases, geographical areas and trial users;
  4. Develop deployment plan: how will it be moved to become a community tool, where will it be hosted and managed;
  5. Implement deployment plan: roll out the global system.

GRF-X Forum, Part 1 on 9th September 2021.

Presently, the initiative is at an early stage of its development (task 2 on prototype development) and efforts are being taken to have a global collaboration of GRAs to contribute in different ways to the development of BOOC.  

As a first step, GRAs are invited to assist in defining the taxonomy, input process and final structure of the catalogue. For this, GRAs and other stakeholders interested are welcome to join the prototype testing process, provide feedback and comments for its improvement. GRAs can also help in identifying and developing simple or complex use cases. Opportunities also exist to support the development of a template to give guidance to organizations and people on how to write use cases and submit them to BOOC once it becomes fully operational. The target is to have the prototype fully tested by the end of the first quarter of 2022. It is envisaged that once the prototype has been developed, there are plans to convene workshops to guide and support regional and national experts on how to develop and transform conceptual ideas to use cases that can be added into the catalogue.

An important agreement of the GRA-X Forum was to establish an advisory group or committee under GRA Framework but not limited to GRAs to support the BOOC initiative. The GRA-X Forum was attended by 25 participants. GRA-X Forum part two is expected to continue online by early November 2021.

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